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    Phylodynamics of Merkel-cell polyomavirus and Human polyomavirus 6: a long-term history with humans.
    Mol Phylogenet Evol 2018 Apr 19. Epub 2018 Apr 19.
    Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Farmacia y Bioquímica. Departamento de Microbiología, Inmunología y Biotecnología. Cátedra de Virología. Buenos Aires, Argentina; CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    New human polyomaviruses have been described in the last years, including the Merkel-cell polyomavirus (MCPyV; Human polyomavirus 5) and the Human polyomavirus 6 (HPyV6). Although their infection is usually asymptomatic, in immunocompromised host can cause life-threatening pathologies, such as the Merkel cell carcinoma, an aggressive skin neoplasia associated to the MCPyV. Despite being prevalent viruses in population, epidemiological data from South America are scarce, as well as the characterization of the viral types circulating and their origin. Read More

    Targeting Merkel cell carcinoma by engineered T cells specific to T-antigens of Merkel cell polyomavirus.
    Clin Cancer Res 2018 Apr 18. Epub 2018 Apr 18.
    Institute of Immunology, Charite, Campus Berlin Buch
    Purpose: The causative agent of most cases of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) has been identified as the Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV). MCV-encoded T-antigens (Tags) are essential not only for virus-mediated tumorigenesis but also for maintaining MCC cell lines in vitro. MCV Tags are thus an appealing target for viral oncoprotein-directed T cell therapy for MCC. Read More

    Endoscopic ultrasound diagnosis of Merkel cell carcinoma metastasizing to pancreas.
    Cytopathology 2018 Apr 17. Epub 2018 Apr 17.
    Gastroenterology Department, Instituto Português de Oncologia do Porto, Porto, Portugal.
    Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare and aggressive primary neuroendocrine tumor of the skin, with a high propensity for local, regional and distant spread . However, distant metastasis of MCC to the pancreas are rarely seen. EUS-FNA is an effective tool in the evaluation and differential diagnosis of pancreatic mass lesions . Read More

    Cutaneous Head and Neck Malignancies in the Elderly.
    Clin Geriatr Med 2018 May 17;34(2):245-258. Epub 2018 Feb 17.
    Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Head and Neck-Microvascular Surgery, Clinical Affairs, Indiana University School of Medicine, Fesler Hall, 1130 W. Michigan Street, Suite 400, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.
    Cutaneous malignancy of the head and neck affects a large proportion of elderly patients. The severity ranges from small, easily treatable lesions to large, invasive, potentially metastatic tumors. Surgical treatment is the primary treatment of most skin cancers; however, geriatric patients are more likely to have multiple comorbidities that increase the risk of surgery. Read More

    Role of BK human polyomavirus in cancer.
    Infect Agent Cancer 2018 5;13:12. Epub 2018 Apr 5.
    2Departamento de Oncología Básico clínica, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.
    Human polyomaviruses (HPyV), which are small DNA viruses classified into the polyomaviridae family, are widely distributed in human populations. Thirteen distinct HPyVs have been described to date. Some of these viruses have been found in human tumors, suggesting an etiological relationship with cancer. Read More

    Utility of Ber-EP4 and MOC-31 in Basaloid Skin Tumor Detection.
    Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol 2018 Apr 7. Epub 2018 Apr 7.
    Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
    Ber-EP4 has been the traditional immunostain used for the detection of basaloid skin tumors. Recently, MOC-31 has shown be superior to Ber-EP4 in the detection of basosquamous basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and many centers are now using both Ber-EP4 and MOC-31 antibodies together to detect these lesions. The objective of this study was to compare the utility of using both Ber-EP4 and MOC-31 immunostains in the detection of basaloid skin tumors and to better characterize the previously unknown staining properties of MOC-31 in cutaneous lesions. Read More

    Merkel cell carcinoma in the community setting: a case report.
    Radiat Oncol J 2018 Apr 12. Epub 2018 Apr 12.
    Department of Radiation Oncology, Osceola Cancer Center, Kissimmee, FL, USA.
    Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare neuroendocrine tumor of the skin initially believed to arise from the Merkel cells. In the community setting a general radiation oncologist may only encounter this pathology in a handful of cases over the course of their career. Due to the low incidence of this malignancy, few prospective randomized controlled trials have ever been conducted and therefore guidelines are based on relatively lower levels of evidence upon which the clinical recommendations are made. Read More

    Avelumab: A Review of Its Application in Metastatic Merkel Cell Carcinoma.
    Ann Pharmacother 2018 Apr 1:1060028018768809. Epub 2018 Apr 1.
    1 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.
    Objective: To summarize the clinical development of avelumab and its clinical relevance in metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC).

    Data Sources: An English-language literature search using PubMed was performed using the terms avelumab, anti-PD-1, anti-PD-L1, and MCC from January of 1950 to March 2018. Data were also obtained from package inserts, meeting abstracts, and clinical registries. Read More

    Intratumoral and Peritumoral Lymphovascular Invasion Detected by D2-40 Immunohistochemistry Correlates with Metastasis in Primary Cutaneous Merkel Cell Carcinoma.
    Hum Pathol 2018 Mar 27. Epub 2018 Mar 27.
    Department of Pathology, Translational and Molecular Pathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030. Electronic address:
    Primary cutaneous Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive neuroendocrine malignancy in which lymphovascular invasion (LVI) correlates with more aggressive phenotype. The prognostic significance of LVI detected by D2-40 immunohistochemistry (IHC) in MCC remains controversial. We aimed to determine how LVI detected by D2-40 IHC compares with LVI detected by hematoxylin-eosin (H&E) staining in predicting MCC metastasis. Read More

    Detection of the Merkel cell polyomavirus in the neuroendocrine component of combined Merkel cell carcinoma.
    Virchows Arch 2018 Mar 28. Epub 2018 Mar 28.
    Department of Pathology, Université de Tours, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Tours, 37044, Tours Cedex 09, France.
    Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin. The main etiological agent is Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV), detected in 80% of cases. About 5% of cases, called combined MCC, feature an admixture of neuroendocrine and non-neuroendocrine tumor cells. Read More

    Factors Associated with Advanced Stage Merkel Cell Carcinoma at Initial Diagnosis and the Use of Radiation Therapy: Results from the National Cancer Database.
    J Am Acad Dermatol 2018 Mar 21. Epub 2018 Mar 21.
    The University of Arizona; Tucson, Arizona, USA. Electronic address:
    Background: The stage of disease at initial diagnosis and the use of radiation therapy (RT) are important determinants of survival in patients with Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC).

    Objective: To define factors that are associated with advanced stage MCC at the time of initial diagnosis and the use of RT.

    Methods: Cross-sectional, retrospective analysis of MCC patients registered in the National Cancer Database during 2004-2013. Read More

    Poly ADP-ribose polymerase-1 as a potential therapeutic target in Merkel cell carcinoma.
    Head Neck 2018 Mar 23. Epub 2018 Mar 23.
    Department of Pathology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.
    Background: Patients with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma are treated similarly to small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Poly ADP-ribose polymerase-1 (PARP1) is overexpressed in SCLC and response to PARP inhibitors have been reported in patients with SCLC. Our study explores PARP as a therapeutic target in Merkel cell carcinoma. Read More

    CD34 and BerEP4 Are Helpful to Distinguish Basaloid Tricholemmoma From Basal Cell Carcinoma.
    Am J Dermatopathol 2018 Mar 21. Epub 2018 Mar 21.
    Department of Cellular Pathology, Warwick Hospital, Coventry, United Kingdom.
    Tricholemmoma, a benign follicular neoplasm with outer root sheath differentiation, typically comprises clear or pale cells, and when multiple is pathognomic of Cowden's syndrome. The tumor is probably underrecognized and in basaloid examples can be difficult to distinguish from basal cell carcinoma (BCC). We studied 55 tricholemmomas (including 15 basaloid cases) and compared immunohistochemical profile with nodular BCC from our archives. Read More

    The Human Polyomavirus Middle and Alternative T-Antigens; Thoughts on Roles and Relevance to Cancer.
    Front Microbiol 2018 8;9:398. Epub 2018 Mar 8.
    Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands.
    Approximately 15-20% of human cancer is related to infection, which renders them potentially preventable by antimicrobial or antiviral therapy. Human polyomaviruses (PyVs) are relevant in this regard, as illustrated by the involvement of Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) in the development of Merkel cell carcinoma. The polyomavirus Small and Large tumor antigen (ST and LT) have been extensively studied with respect to their role in oncogenesis. Read More

    Merkel cell carcinoma with seborrheic keratosis: A unique association.
    Indian J Pathol Microbiol 2018 Jan-Mar;61(1):101-102
    Department of Pathology, SRL Reference Lab, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
    Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare, clinically aggressive neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin; MCC is 40 times less common as compared to melanoma. The most frequently reported sites have been the head and neck, extremities, and trunk. Potential mimics include malignant melanoma, lymphoma, or metastatic small cell (neuroendocrine) carcinomas. Read More

    Epidemiology of skin cancer in the mature patient.
    Clin Dermatol 2018 Mar - Apr;36(2):167-176. Epub 2017 Oct 13.
    Sinclair Dermatology, East Melbourne, VIC Australia; Faculty of Medicine, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC Australia. Electronic address:
    Epidermal cancers include keratinocyte cancer, melanocyte cancer, and Merkel cell carcinoma. These cancers account for the vast majority of new cancers diagnosed in Australia, North America, and Europe. Keratinocyte cancer is the most common epidermal cancer and accounts for 7 out of 8 new cancers diagnosed in Australia. Read More

    Immunotherapy for Merkel cell carcinoma: a turning point in patient care.
    J Immunother Cancer 2018 Mar 23;6(1):23. Epub 2018 Mar 23.
    Department of Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Baltimore, MD, USA.
    Merkel Cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare but aggressive cancer, with an estimated disease-associated mortality as high as 46%. MCC has proven to be an immunologically responsive disease and the advent of immune checkpoint inhibitors has changed the treatment landscape for patients with advanced MCC. In this review, we discuss the rationale for the use of immune checkpoint inhibition, review current single agent therapies tested in and approved for MCC, and discuss emerging immunotherapeutic options for these patients. Read More

    Efficacy and Safety of First-line Avelumab Treatment in Patients With Stage IV Metastatic Merkel Cell Carcinoma: A Preplanned Interim Analysis of a Clinical Trial.
    JAMA Oncol 2018 Mar 22. Epub 2018 Mar 22.
    Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick.
    Importance: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive skin cancer that is associated with poor survival outcomes in patients with distant metastatic disease. Results of part A of the JAVELIN Merkel 200 trial (avelumab in patients with Merkel cell carcinoma) showed that avelumab, an anti-programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) antibody, demonstrated efficacy in second-line or later treatment of patients with metastatic MCC (mMCC).

    Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of avelumab as first-line treatment for patients with distant mMCC. Read More

    Merkel Cell Carcinoma.
    Indian J Surg Oncol 2018 Mar 12;9(1):110-113. Epub 2017 Feb 12.
    Department of Surgery, K.S Hegde Medical Academy, Mangalore, India.
    Merkel cell carcinoma is a primary neuroendocrine tumour of the skin arising from the dermis and extending into the subcutis, occurring commonly in sun-exposed areas of the head and neck of the elderly. Clinically, non-specific erythematous or violaceous firm nodules or small plaques which may be surrounded by small adjacent satellite tumours are seen. Diagnosis of Merkel cell carcinoma is difficult by light microscopy alone and need of ancillary techniques like electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry may be necessary. Read More

    Merkel Cell Carcinoma: An Update and Immunotherapy.
    Front Oncol 2018 6;8:48. Epub 2018 Mar 6.
    Department of Dermatology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.
    Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare but aggressive skin cancer with frequent metastasis and death. MCC has a mortality rate of 30%, making it more lethal than malignant melanoma, and incidence of MCC has increased almost fourfold over the past 20 years in the USA. MCC has long been considered to be an immunogenic cancer because it occurs more frequently in immunosuppressed patients from organ transplant and HIV infection than in those with immunocompetent. Read More

    Proceedings of the NASHNP Companion Meeting, March 18th, 2018, Vancouver, BC, Canada: Salivary Neuroendocrine Carcinoma-An Overview of a Rare Disease with an Emphasis on Determining Tumor Origin.
    Head Neck Pathol 2018 Mar 20;12(1):13-21. Epub 2018 Mar 20.
    Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 S. Euclid Ave., Campus Box 8118, St. Louis, MO, USA.
    Salivary neuroendocrine carcinomas are rare and the overwhelming majority is high-grade. The parotid gland is the most commonly involved site followed by the submandibular gland. Most arise de novo but rare examples occurring as a high-grade transformation of another type of salivary gland neoplasm exist. Read More

    Update on Merkel Cell Carcinoma.
    Head Neck Pathol 2018 Mar 20;12(1):31-43. Epub 2018 Mar 20.
    Department of Pathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Unit 85, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.
    Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive cutaneous neuroendocrine carcinoma. Incidence of MCC continues to rise, and risk factors include advanced age, pale skin, chronic sun exposure, and immune suppression. Diagnosing MCC utilizes a combination of morphology and immunohistochemistry. Read More

    Metastases to the parotid gland - A review of the clinicopathological evolution, molecular mechanisms and management.
    Surg Oncol 2018 Mar 2;27(1):44-53. Epub 2017 Dec 2.
    Sydney Head and Neck Cancer Institute, Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Chris O'Brien Lifehouse, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia; Central Clinical School, University of Sydney, New south Wales, Australia.
    Metastases to the parotid gland are the commonest cause of parotid malignancies in many regions of the world including Australia. The most common etiology of these metastases is head and neck cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (HNcSCC) followed by melanoma of the head and neck. This article focuses on the management of the aforementioned pathologies including Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). Read More

    Sentinel lymph node biopsy in Merkel cell carcinoma: The Mayo Clinic experience of 150 patients.
    Surg Oncol 2018 Mar 26;27(1):11-17. Epub 2017 Oct 26.
    Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN, USA. Electronic address:
    Background: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare cutaneous malignancy of neuroendocrine origin with a high propensity for lymph node metastasis. Sentinel lymph node (SLN) status is important for accurate staging; however, the optimal treatment following SLN biopsy, regardless of nodal status, remains unclear.

    Methods: 150 patients with MCC who underwent SLN biopsy from 1995 to 2011 at 3 Mayo Clinic sites were reviewed. Read More

    Phase I Study of Single-Agent Utomilumab (PF-05082566), a 4-1BB/CD137 Agonist, in Patients with Advanced Cancer.
    Clin Cancer Res 2018 Apr 16;24(8):1816-1823. Epub 2018 Mar 16.
    University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, Washington.
    Utomilumab (PF-05082566) is an agonistic mAb that engages the immune costimulatory molecule 4-1BB/CD137. In this first-in-human, phase I, open-label, multicenter, multiple-dose study (NCT01307267) we evaluated safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, preliminary clinical activity, and pharmacodynamics of single-agent utomilumab in patients with advanced malignancies. Dose escalation was based on a standard 3+3 design for doses of utomilumab from 0. Read More

    18F-FDG PET/CT for Monitoring Response of Merkel Cell Carcinoma to the Novel Programmed Cell Death Ligand 1 Inhibitor Avelumab.
    Clin Nucl Med 2018 May;43(5):e142-e144
    An 85-year-old man with stage IIIA Merkel cell carcinoma of the left arm was initially treated with local excision and axillary node dissection followed by radiation therapy. Eight months after surgery, whole-body FDG PET/CT demonstrated intensely hypermetabolic hepatic metastases and abdominal lymphadenopathy. Given his age and comorbidities, he was considered a poor candidate for chemotherapy, and therefore the novel programmed cell death ligand 1 inhibitor avelumab was initiated. Read More

    Immunotherapy in Merkel cell carcinoma: role of Avelumab.
    Immunotargets Ther 2018 2;7:15-19. Epub 2018 Mar 2.
    Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA.
    Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), a rare skin cancer, is associated with high mortality, especially in a metastatic setting. Though conventional chemotherapy with platinum and etoposide has had high response rates, many of the patients have had early relapse without any effective therapy thereafter. Recently, immune check point inhibitors have shown very good durable responses, leading to the approval of a programmed death-ligand 1 inhibitor Avelumab for these patients. Read More

    The association between geographic location and incidence of Merkel cell carcinoma in comparison to melanoma: An international assessment.
    Eur J Cancer 2018 May 20;94:47-60. Epub 2018 Mar 20.
    Section of Cancer Surveillance, International Agency for Research on Cancer, 150 Cours Albert Thomas, 69008 Lyon, France.
    Aim: The aim of this article was to provide worldwide, population-based incidence rates for Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC).

    Methods: We included 11,576 cases from 20 countries for time trend analyses (1990-2007) and 11,028 cases (2.5 billion person-years) from 21 countries for the period 2003-2007 extracted from Cancer Incidence in Five Continents. Read More

    Unusual Neuroendocrine Differentiation in a Small Round Cell Angiosarcoma. A Potential Histologic Mimicker of Superficial Ewing Sarcoma.
    Am J Dermatopathol 2018 Feb 27. Epub 2018 Feb 27.
    Pathology Department, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain.
    Neuroendocrine differentiation or aberrant expression of neuroendocrine markers is very uncommon in angiosarcomas (AS) and creates a challenging differential diagnosis with other superficial or soft tissue tumors. Herein, we report a new case of superficial AS presenting as a tumor lesion on the little finger of the right hand of a 52-year-old man. The tumor displayed CD56, chromogranin-A, and synaptophysin immunoreactivity. Read More

    CK 20-positive and CK 7-negative Merkel cell carcinoma of the cheek.
    Clin Case Rep 2018 Mar 1;6(3):549-550. Epub 2018 Feb 1.
    Sparrow Hospital1215 E Michigan AveLansingMichigan48912.
    Merkel cell carcinomas (MCCs) are uncommon, highly malignant skin tumors that develop in sun-exposed areas of the skin. Most of the MCCs are CK 20-positive and CK 7-negative such as our case. About 80% of Merkel cell carcinoma is associated with Merkel cell polyomavirus. Read More

    Compassionate use programs in Italy: ethical guidelines.
    BMC Med Ethics 2018 Mar 9;19(1):22. Epub 2018 Mar 9.
    Direzione Scientifica, AUSL di Reggio Emilia-IRCCS, Viale Umberto I 50, Reggio Emilia, Italy.
    Background: This article proposes a retrospective analysis of a compassionate use (CU), using a case study of request for Avelumab for a patient suffering from Merkel Cell Carcinoma. The study is the result of a discussion within a Provincial Ethics Committee (EC) following the finding of a high number of requests for CU program. The primary objective of the study is to illustrate the specific ethical and clinical profiles that emerge from the compassionate use program (CUP) issue. Read More

    Living with Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC): Development of a Conceptual Model of MCC Based on Patient Experiences.
    Patient 2018 Mar 6. Epub 2018 Mar 6.
    Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
    Background: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare and aggressive skin cancer with limited treatment options at advanced stages. There is a paucity of data available regarding the impact of MCC and its management on patients' lives. This study aimed to address this gap by interviewing patients with metastatic MCC entering a trial of an immunotherapy (avelumab). Read More

    A short-term in vivo model for Merkel Cell Carcinoma.
    Exp Dermatol 2018 Mar 6. Epub 2018 Mar 6.
    Institute of Pathophysiology and Immunology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.
    In vivo tumor models are essential for studying the biology of cancer, identifying tumor targets and evaluating antitumor drugs. Considering the request for the minimisation of animal experiments and following the "3R"-rule ("replacement," "refinement," "reduction"), it has become crucial to develop alternative experimental models in cancer biology. Several studies have already described the avian chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model as an alternative to rodents, suitable to investigate growth, progression and metastasis of various types of cancer. Read More

    Merkel cell carcinoma masquerading as cellulitis: a case report and review of the literature.
    Curr Oncol 2018 Feb 28;25(1):e106-e112. Epub 2018 Feb 28.
    Department of Hematology and Oncology, Staten Island University Hospital, Staten Island, NY, USA; and.
    Merkel cell carcinoma (mcc) is an uncommon malignancy of the skin arising from cells located in the deeper layers of the epidermis called Merkel cells. This malignancy rarely presents as a metastatic disease, and the field is therefore deficient in regards to management. We report the case of a 49-year-old woman who presented with a presumptive diagnosis of osteomyelitis of the left fifth digit that was resistant to treatment with antibiotics; she underwent debridement of the digit that revealed mcc and was later to have metastatic disease to her lungs, liver, and musculoskeletal system. Read More

    Biopsy-Proven Metastatic Merkel Cell Carcinoma to the Orbit: Case Report and Review of Literature.
    Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2018 Mar 2. Epub 2018 Mar 2.
    Department of Ophthalmology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
    Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare neuroendocrine tumor of subspecialized dermal mechanoreceptors, associated with immunosuppression. The usual ophthalmic presentation is an eyelid lesion. The authors present a case of biopsy-proven orbital metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma in the absence of any eyelid lesion, in an immunosuppressed patient with a history of multiple cancers. Read More

    Peri - and Intraocular Mutilating Advanced Squamous Cell Carcinoma: "Monsters Inside Your Body"?
    Open Access Maced J Med Sci 2018 Jan 13;6(1):132-133. Epub 2018 Jan 13.
    Städtisches Klinikum Dresden - Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Dresden, Sachsen, Germany.
    Periocular malignancies represent between 5% and 10% of all types of skin cancers. The incidence of eyelid (but also the periocular located) malignancies seems to differ in distribution across the continents. The incidence of eyelid tumours (but also the periocular located tumours) in a predominantly white population determined that BCC is the most common malignant periocular eyelid tumour in whites. Read More

    Avelumab: a new standard for treating metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma.
    Expert Rev Anticancer Ther 2018 Apr 28;18(4):319-326. Epub 2018 Feb 28.
    a Dermatology Branch , National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disorders , Bethesda , MD , USA.
    Introduction: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare and aggressive skin cancer. Although MCC is chemosensitive, responses to traditional chemotherapeutic agents are not durable. Avelumab, a novel anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, recently became the first FDA-approved agent for the treatment of metastatic MCC and represents a new option to improve patient survival. Read More

    PD-L1 inhibition with avelumab for metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma.
    Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol 2018 Apr 14;11(4):345-359. Epub 2018 Mar 14.
    d Dermatology Branch , Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health , Bethesda , MD , USA.
    Introduction: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare and aggressive neuroendocrine skin cancer that lacks durable responses to traditional chemotherapy. Areas covered: After MCC was shown to be an immunogenic tumor, small trials revealed high objective response rates to PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors. The JAVELIN Merkel 200 (NCT02155647) trial tested the use of avelumab, a human IgG1 monoclonal antibody against PD-L1, in metastatic MCC. Read More

    The cellular chloride channels CLIC1 and CLIC4 contribute to virus-mediated cell motility.
    J Biol Chem 2018 Mar 8;293(12):4582-4590. Epub 2018 Feb 8.
    From the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology,
    Ion channels regulate many aspects of cell physiology, including cell proliferation, motility, and migration, and aberrant expression and activity of ion channels is associated with various stages of tumor development, with K and Cl channels now being considered the most active during tumorigenesis. Accordingly, emerging and preclinical studies have revealed that pharmacological manipulation of ion channel activity offers protection against several cancers. Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) is a major cause of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), primarily because of the expression of two early regulatory proteins termed small and large tumor antigens (ST and LT, respectively). Read More

    Poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinoma of the breast with Merkel cell features.
    Breast J 2018 Feb 19. Epub 2018 Feb 19.
    Department of Surgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.
    Neuroendocrine carcinoma of the breast is a rare tumor subtype comprising less than 1% of breast cancers in the United States. Merkel cell features within this rare subtype are even rarer. We report a neuroendocrine breast carcinoma with Merkel cell features. Read More

    Cabozantinib in Patients with Advanced Merkel Cell Carcinoma.
    Oncologist 2018 Feb 14. Epub 2018 Feb 14.
    Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
    Background: This study sought to determine the efficacy and safety profile of cabozantinib in patients with advanced Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC).

    Experimental Design: This prospective, phase II, single-institution trial enrolled patients with platinum-failure, recurrent/metastatic MCC to receive cabozantinib 60 mg orally daily until disease progression, withdrawal from study, or severe toxicity. The primary endpoint was disease control rate. Read More

    A monoclonal antibody against SV40 large T antigen (PAb416) does not label Merkel cell carcinoma.
    Histopathology 2018 Feb 11. Epub 2018 Feb 11.
    Department of Pathology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA.
    Aims: Merkel cell carcinoma represents poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinoma of cutaneous origin. In most studies, the vast majority of Merkel cell carcinomas are Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV)-associated. SV40 polyomavirus immunohistochemistry is typically used in the diagnosis of other polyomavirus-associated diseases, including tubulointerstitial nephritis and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, given cross-reactivity with BK and JC polyomaviruses. Read More

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